We told you earlier this week about Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s dirty, ankle-wrenching plays against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Panthers said after the game they would send in tape of Burfict’s play to NFL league offices in hopes of seeing him punished for his extremely unsportsmanlike conduct. Well, the league finished looking at the tape yesterday, and Burfict’s wallet is now $25,000 lighter.
The league is clearly trying to send a strong message with the fine. The typical fine for unsportsmanlike conduct is $8,200 – much less than the punishment doled out to Burfict.
The league’s hefty fine doesn’t satisfy Panthers players, though. Panthers tight end Greg Olson, who had his ankle twisted by Burfict, says fines don’t deter the troubled Bengals linebacker. Olson pointed out that both he and the other victim of Burfict’s reckless play, Cam Newton, just finished dealing with ankle injuries.
“In instances like that that are so clearly premeditated, that he had in his mind that if he had those opportunities that he was going to try to attack guys’ legs, but guys who are coming off ankle problems specifically, there’s no room for it,” Olsen told the Charlotte Observer. “And I think the punishment needs to go beyond a fine. Guys like that don’t learn from that stuff. He’s been fined 100 times for head-hunting, and he did it to (receiver) Kelvin (Benjamin) again. You watch the film; it’s just what he is.”
If Burfict is caught again making the same kind of senseless plays, expect to see the league suspend him for a game or two.